I have just completed the Way Big Redesign.This was some time coming, and basically enabled by Blogger suddenly offering a template that mostly did what I wanted. I have been frustrated for a few years now blogging on one site and keeping my portfolio and writing samples on another site. (And that other site did not look as nice as I wanted, despite constant tinkering.) I wanted both things in one place, but for many reasons neither place worked well for both. I was also limited by not wanting to spend a lot of money on web hosting or design. I know enough html to do a few tricks, and I'm simply not at the point where I want to pay someone to design a website/blog for me. I am serious about being a writer and having a professional-looking web presence, but I'm not at a place where I want to sink much money into it. (Although I would consider paying someone to design a background.) Currently, I'm only spending $10/year for a custom domain.
By the way, now that I'm not using the custom domain for that other site, it's right here! I've never been a fan of the myname.blogspot.com address format. (You can't exactly rattle it off, can you?) So now that's all integrated and makes me feel happier. And I checked: yes, all the old myname.blogspot.com links will redirect to their current addresses, which is a relief. So the old links still work (if anybody out there is linking to me, which I realize is possibly an arrogant concern) but the new address is prettier.
The weird thing is that YOU can change how you view the blog part of this site. I have the homepage defaulted to the view I prefer (Sidebar), but there are several views if you want to play around with flipping through old posts. That's the dropdown in the top left corner. I find it a little freaky, but maybe someone will like that functionality.
One Concern: The SidebarOne negative of this new redesign is that I no longer have a visible sidebar. This means I will not be able to post "buttons" for blogfests, etcetera. I think I've only done that a few times a year anyway, so hopefully that will not be a major problem. Instead of a visible sidebar, I have that little thing off the the right side that reappears when you mouse over it. That's where my subscriber information is, as well as my blog categories and blog archives. This sidebar format is, so far, the only possible issue to my knowledge. However, I'm not terribly concerned about it personally. I do hope it doesn't become a problem for anybody else.
Things Have Been Added!I moved some of the information that used to be available in the sidebar to the Writing Tools page. I use these links more than you'd think. So that's all still there for anybody looking for writing tools, authors I recommend, and some great writing quotes.
You can now check out my professional portfolio, with examples of my science writing, technical writing, and professional writing work. This does not include any of my current work as a proposal writer, as that is proprietary information. (If you actually care to know what I do as a proposal writer, I'm happy to talk to you about it. I talk to undergraduate writing students about this once a year or so.)
Some of my poetry is available. No, I'm not really a poet, but I think poetry is a good exercise for all writers.
And yes, I finally added a fiction page with a summary and excerpt from my Work In Progress. I used agent Nathan Bransford's information about query letters to write the summary. Practically every aspiring novelist I know is always going on about Nathan Bransford, and I pretty much ignored it because I am not done with my novel. But hey, I finally got together a decent summary I can direct people to instead of babbling incoherently when people ask what my book is about.
Please let me know if you run across any bugs or issues. You can let me know in comments (I read them all and try to respond to every single one, so subscribe to comments if you want to be notified of my response.) or if the problem is with comments, you can email me at callie[at]callieleuck[dot]com.